School around the kitchen table, with multiple ages and grade levels, can be challenging in and of itself. Add to the mix stress, noise, and interruptions, and school time can become overwhelming. But there are some great tools and resources for introducing an atmosphere of peace to the schoolroom and life in general. Here are some of my favorite tools.
The Beauty of Structure
Have you ever noticed the difference in the atmosphere of the home when children have been given structure and purpose versus being left to themselves? In homeschooling, success is always determined by the student’s response to parental guidance, and I have found that structure is a critical aspect of parental guidance and, consequently, of a peaceful home atmosphere. Effective child training begins early and is consistent throughout. Here are a few child training ideas I used with our children when they were young.
With five kiddos in seven years, it was imperative that I not waste time repeating myself over and over. Each child is different, so I started at a different age with each. But it was important to train each of them that Mama only says it one time.
This is the most helpful during the homeschooling years because of the many instructions given during school time. If you spend most of your time repeating, you can quickly waste time and become frustrated with homeschooling.
In order to keep order, I came up with a simple and unassuming signal to attract my kids’ attention. With a snap of my fingers, my children knew to look my way. This was extremely helpful when trying to get all five ready to load a vehicle, quiet them when a phone call came in, or signal a redirect if one began to walk in the wrong direction in a store.
CUDDLES AND HUGS
Child training does not work if love and hugs are not present. Making sure to shut the TV off, put the book down, or walk away from the Internet and spend time with each child is essential.
DO AS I DO
When child training, you will be giving many directives. But the example you set for your children is even more important. If you want them to work hard at school or do their chores well, they must first see you work hard at the jobs you have in life. More is caught than taught.
As parents, we make the most impact on our children when we say the simple words “I’m sorry.” You will never regret these words of humility.
Aromatherapy for the School Room
Since smell is the strongest of the senses and is best able to influence brain activity, our family uses aromatherapy as an aid to help develop an atmosphere of peace and tranquility. Using a diffuser, I add a few drops of essential oils with distilled water. Our diffuser runs most mornings during the school hours.
This scent promotes concentration and has calming and clarifying properties that are helpful when you’re feeling angry, anxious, or run down. Lemon also has antiviral and antibacterial properties and can help fight sore throats and colds by boosting the body’s immune system and improving circulation.
This essential oil has calming properties that help control emotional stress. Lavender has a soothing effect on nerves and can relieve nervous tension and depression as well as treat headaches and migraines.
Like lavender, jasmine can help calm nerves. But this oil is also commonly used as an anti-depressant because of its uplifting capabilities to produce a feeling of confidence, optimism, and revitalized energy.
This is the perfect Monday morning pick-me-up. In addition to improving memory retention, rosemary has stimulating properties that fight physical exhaustion, headaches, and mental fatigue. Rosemary can also be used topically to relieve muscular aches and pains.
The stimulating properties in cinnamon can help fight mental fatigue and improve concentration and focus.
Try peppermint when students are taking tests or quizzes. An energy booster, this scent invigorates the mind, promotes concentration, and stimulates clear thinking.
Another great way to incorporate a peaceful environment while schooling is to include a bit of classical music in the background.
University research in France, published in Learning and Individual Differences, found that students who listened to a one-hour lecture where classical music was played in the background scored significantly higher on a comprehension quiz than a similar group of students who heard the lecture with no music. Even without tests and quizzes, music has a strong ability to bring peace and calm and increase focus abilities.
Whatever options you employ, just remember that an atmosphere of peace can make all the difference in a successful school day!